Are You Disappointing Your Members?

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Are you disappointing your members

What you sell damn sure better live up to your sales promises. There’s no retention without fulfillment. I had a great discussion with a client today. We are creating a new onboarding product that will become a “gift with purchase” that we can offer to increase sales conversions. He asked me, “If this video is longer than a few minutes, will someone watch it?” My answer was, “I don’t care if the video is three minutes, 30 minutes, or three hours long, the priority is that it delivers everything promised during the sales process in a satisfying way.” Above all, deliver what you promised. I have an assessment on my desk now — a client asked me to review their business because they have a 33 percent refund rate on purchases. While it’s amazing and wonderful they are able to sustain a 33 percent refund rate and still grow their … Continued

The No. 1 Flaw in Membership and Subscription Marketing Today

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The No. 1 Flaw in Membership and Subscription

Did you wake up this morning hoping for a webinar? You’ve gone all week without one. Perhaps your spouse used to give you webinars, but no longer. Then there was that one vendor who always offered webinars, but they don’t even do it anymore. Disappointing? No, you didn’t wake up hoping for a webinar. And neither did your members. And I can promise you those prospective members you want to sign up as paid members didn’t hope for a webinar either. Not only that, they didn’t wake up hoping for a newsletter. Or a special report. Or a book. Or even a briefing. No, your members don’t want that shit. And, they darn sure didn’t wake up hoping that you’d send another email. Nope, they don’t long for an email to show up. In fact, that’s one of the things they dread. Do you agree that neither you nor your … Continued

It’s Easy to Make Your Membership Complicated. Simplification Is Difficult and Important

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Simplifying Your Membership is Important

Pointless. I was writing, printing, and mailing a 24-page full-color newsletter for 36 people. That’s all that signed up. It was so humiliating to write and preparing a newsletter for only 36 members. Expensive too — although each member paid $199.00 monthly, total dues collected was not enough to cover my production and fulfillment costs with so few members. Membership would exceed 360 in just a few months, and a year later there were more than 1,000 members. By then, I’d forgotten about running negative that first month. But at the time, it felt pointless. The release of my new book, Retention Point, has generated a lot of discussions with potential new clients. At some point, I’ll charge for the subscription assessments I deliver. They really are amazing and well worth investing $2,500.00, $5,000.00, or more. Heck, I put 5–10 hours into reviewing your subscription marketing, onboarding, and deliverables before … Continued

Amazon Prime vs. Costco Membership: Which Has Higher Retention, and What Does it Mean for You?

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Amazon Prime vs. Costco Membership: Which Has Higher Membership Retention

Amazon Prime now has more members than Costco and higher retention. But which company is the best for you to emulate? Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos reported that Amazon Prime membership exceeded 100 million members. At $99.00 annually, this has turned into a huge profit center. But there’s more. Prime members spend more than four times more than non-Prime customers with Amazon each year. Meanwhile, you can’t shop at Costco without a membership, which start at $55.00 annually. As of its fiscal 2017 annual report, Costco boasted 90 million members. That’s 10 million fewer members than Amazon. This means Amazon now outpaces Costco by a factor exceeding the population of 43 U.S. states! But that’s not all. Amazon Prime’s member renewal rate is estimated to exceed 90 percent, while Costco, recognized for its longtime customer loyalty, has a retention rate in the upper 80s. Amazon has the reputation of having the … Continued

Member Retention Secret for Getting More Lifers and Becoming the Membership That Doesn’t Get Canceled

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Subscription Membership That Doesn’t Get Canceled

“I can’t even get my member to return my call.” I’ve heard it a million times. This person has been a member for months, but now they’re getting canceled because their monthly charge didn’t go through. The team emails, calls, and even sends a letter … no response. In the beginning, there were just a few of these, but now, you can see there is a disease. Members won’t return your emails and calls. This problem started in the hours and days after this member joined. You just don’t excite them anymore. Have you ever gotten excited about buying something, then a few weeks after you bought it you didn’t even remember you had it? And if the company who sold it to you calls you, are you going to take that call? Heck no! Even if you liked them well enough, it wouldn’t matter. No one likes talking to … Continued

In A Divided World, Those Who Unite Their Supporters Win

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Those Who Unite Their Subscribers Win

Your subscribers have several monthly charges on their credit card. How do you make your subscription a “must have” to avoid being canceled? When your member examines her credit card statement with the idea of cutting back on her monthly expenses, how can you avoid being one of the many services that’ll get canceled? She’s likely got cellphone, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, a subscription box or two, monthly charitable donations, a couple of subscriptions for her work, and perhaps even a food delivery. What can you do to get her to keep yours? It’s not by increasing the value of what you deliver. Yeah, that’s right. Subscription programs often try to double down on the cost of what they deliver, only to be disappointed when it has little or no impact on retention. Or they do their own equivalent of what publishers try to do — deliver 24 pages of content … Continued

Subscription Revenue Is a Poor Substitute for a Viable Business Plan

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Subscription Revenue

I had a tough conversation with a client this week. For the last 10 years, he’s been trying to grow his subscription business with a 30-day free trial. He’s been happy taking profit out of the business but has hit a plateau over the last few years. He gave his internet marketing team a budget of $100.00 per free trial member to acquire new customers using online marketing. After two years, membership numbers are up but profit is down. He had no idea what had happening but suspected his new members may not be profitable. He was right. I dug in. After a few minutes with his customer data in Excel, I showed him that only 30 percent of these new members were converting from free trial to paid. (He got 50 percent from his other marketing methods.) And although his subscription revenue is $39 monthly, his profit is just … Continued

What I Learned as an Amway Distributor That Will Help You Grow Your Recurring Subscription Membership Revenue

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Grow Your Recurring Subscription Membership Revenue

While Florida State University awarded me a master’s degree in accounting, I earned a “doctorate degree in life” as an Amway distributor for three years. One key lesson I learned as an Amway distributor makes all the difference between success and failure in the subscriptions business. While I was shopping in Dillard’s about a month after graduation from FSU, some guy stopped me and asked, “Where do I know you from?” I had no idea. I didn’t recognize him, but I tried to think and make a few suggestions. He told me his name was Steve and that he owned an international import/export business in town. After a few minutes of small talk, he asked if I was ever open to “opportunities,” as things often come up in his business. I told him, “Sure” and gave him my phone number. Two days later, Steve called me and we met at … Continued

Traveling the World to Fight Subscriber Churn

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I take it personally when one of your members quits.

Every time one of your members quits, a piece of me dies. It is a relationship lost. A promise broken. Opportunity unfulfilled. It’s my mission to help you never let it happen again. I take it personally when one of your members quits. Can we ever make it stop completely? No. And, honestly, we want some churn. We need to get rid of the people who don’t fit or shouldn’t be our members. But as for the rest of them, a loss is nothing but a loss. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. And, if I don’t tolerate losing, why do you? In June, I traveled to Ireland to visit the team at Agora Integrated Marketing (AIM) in Waterford. This is the internal marketing agency for The Agora, the billion-dollar publishing company with newsletters around the world. In May, AIM hosted the Agora Internet Marketing Summit in Baltimore and invited … Continued

The Retention Point Accelerators that Grow Your Member Lifetime Value

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Accelerators that Grow Your Member Lifetime Value

These strategies form the key distinctions between people who are what I call “Membership Marketers” and those who are “Member Leaders.” Membership Marketers focus only on the hunt, acquiring new members. Member Leaders are as concerned with keeping the members they have as they are with getting new ones. Member Leaders implement systems to get their members to the Retention Point as quickly as possible. The Retention Point is when members fall in love with you, buy everything you offer and eagerly refer their friends. Chances are, this is already happening a little. You likely have some of these members already. These 10 marketing strategies help you generate more of those Lifers increasing your average member value. And, help you convert some of your Quitters into Lifers to decrease churn, increase retention and grow your recurring revenue. Briefly they are: VALUE is like water; too much is just as bad … Continued